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In her regular monthly column, clean beauty expert Allie Rooke picks the best foundations, with a zero-waste option to boot, all of which are free from the litany of nasties most conventional products contain.
Natural or ‘clean’ foundation can be a really tricky business. As a product category, they suffer from a bad reputation, which mostly harps back to the early days of natural cosmetics when what was available left a lot to be desired- think chalky mineral formulations and a serious dearth of shade variety. The good news is that a lot of passionate founders have been working really hard for your skin, and now there are some great clean foundations worth investing in, with options for all skin types and coverage requirements.
Below are my top 4 natural foundation picks, all tried and tested extensively- I’ve made sure to include options for a broad range of preferences and skin types.
Kjaer Weis: The Eco Luxe Compact Choice
Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation is an oil-based cream foundation in a compact. I had to warm to this one but now it is my go-to. I put tinted moisturiser on as a base and use this on top especially on areas that need heavier coverage.
Skin Type: Good for normal/combination to dry skin types. If you have very oily skin then you are best going for a powder foundation.
Format & Application: It is a compact, so easy put in your bag for touch ups when out and about. The only downside is it is pretty heavy but the packaging is beautiful!
Finish: It has a velvety smooth finish that holds up well in the humidity, I would describe it as dewy matte. It is medium to heavy coverage but it is buildable.
Shades: They have 14 shades- Content Beauty have a good description of each one shade here. My shade is Paper thin. I have pink undertones but I am not super pale….thank you Hong Kong sunshine!
Where To Buy: Net a Porter stock it but their shade range is limited- for the full range, order on Content Beauty– they ship from UK.
Zero Waste Bonus: For all you zero wasters, Kjaer Weis is a luxurious yet eco friendly choice- they offer refills for all their products and the packaging is made out of metal.
RMS Beauty: Pure Mineral Powder Foundation
RMS Tinted Unpowder is a good choice if you prefer powder foundation. It is a loose powder and great if you are prone to oily skin.
Skin Type: As mentioned above, it’s good for oily to normal skin types. Avoid using on dry skin as it will emphasise dry, flaky patches.
Format & Application: It is a loose powder that comes with a puff and is easy to apply. If you are clumsy like me, loose powder can sometimes cause spills, though this is not something unique to this product.
Finish: For oily skin- it will give you a matte finish all day.
Shades: Only available in 3 shades, definitely a limitation.
Where To Buy: BeyorgOrganic stores across Hong Kong.
Gressa Serum: Liquid Foundation With A Skincare Twist
Gressa Corrective Serum Foundation is not your run-of-the-mill formulation: it contains specific ‘superstar’ ingredients like broccoli seed oil to calm, protect and improve your skin’s natural glow that eco beauty junkies will covet. I love this foundation and the fact that it’s a skincare product to boot, but the application process takes a little bit of getting used to.
Skin Type: Oily, combination to normal skin types. I would not recommend this one for dry skin as it can cling to the dry patches a little.
Format & Application: It is a liquid foundation but it has a pipette type applicator and it comes out very watery. You only need to apply a couple of drops for the whole face.
Finish: As soon as you put it on your face, it turns into a powdery finish – it’s quite amazing. It is also completely weightless. Even more surprisingly, it offers a strong medium coverage.
Shades: It’s available in 11 shades- I use the 1.5. You can try the shades in store.
Where To Buy: Beautysaur, Kiosk 2, 1/F, Fashion walk, 11-19 Great George Street, Causeway Bay.
Inika: The No Fuss Liquid Foundation
Inika Certified Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation is not necessarily an innovative formulation, it’s just a liquid foundation that works. I use it as an alternative to tinted moisturiser if I want a heavier coverage but don’t feel like applying Gressa or KW.
Skin Type: Any skin type except if you are super oily then stick to powder.
Format & Application: It is slightly thicker than some traditional liquid foundations, which is not a problem for me, but you can always add a drop of face oil like the Rosehip Oil from Pai Skincare if you need it.
Finish: Light coverage with a healthy dewy finish. Would recommend a good concealer underneath if you have blemishes that need complete covering.
Shade: Available in 8 shades. I use the cream shade and it works well on my pale-but-slightly-tanned-with-pink-undertone skin.
Where To Buy: I haven’t found any stockists in Hong Kong but you can get it delivered here on lookfantastic.
No matter what your skin type or foundation preference there should be something for everyone on this list. There are still a few natural foundation superstars on my ‘to try’ list so will be sure to update with any new favourites but one thing’s for sure, gone are the days when us natural beauty junkies needed to compromise on coverage!
READ MORE: See all Allie Rooke Natural Beauty Columns
Lead image courtesy of Pexels, product images from respective brands.